Ethical Eats

Brought to you by Oxfam @ Queen's

Land Grabs? A global problem

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Almost 900 million people go to bed hungry every night. This is happening because of deep injustices in our food system. Inequalities in land, resources and food distribution are ever present and ever growing. This needs to change, together we can make a new food system for all. What is a major problem in the global food system? Land grabs,  an ever present problem that has arisen out of our broken system.

What is a land grab?

A land grab is the buying or leasing of large scale lands by both domestic and transnational companies, governments and individuals. These buyers enter into land within developing countries and ask for the removal of all local people. If those local individuals do not leave they are removed by force. There is no consent by the local communities and no warning. These local families who had relied on this land for food, water and shelter are now left with absolutely nothing to live off.

What are some of the facts?

60 percent of land grabs have grown crops to produce biofuels rather than food

2/3 of land grabs take place in developing countries with the most serious hunger problems

60 percent of food produced on land bought by foreign investors is intended for export rather than feeding local communities

Although Oxfam has done much to better the issue of land grabs, they are sadly still taking place. However with your help Oxfam has made change…

  1. The World Bank has committed itself to a new UN standard on how land is governed.
  2. In 2011, 769 families were forced out of their homes and off their land in Guatemala. Over 100,000 people signed the petition to get Guatemala’s government to declare support for their local communities. 140 families have gotten their land back.
  3. Over 270,000 people joined Oxfam’s behind the brands campaign calling on Pepsi and Coca Cola to help stop land grabs. In 2013, Coca Cola-the worlds biggest buyer of sugar- announced commitments to protect the rights of local lands. Pepsi and Nestle later followed.

This week the Oxfam @ Queen’s food security campaign took over several tables within our Athletic and Recreational Centre. By doing this we tried to demonstrate how unfair this issue of land grabbing really is. We have tried to raise awareness and make students think about what we can do to change our food system, improve the issues and create a fairer world for all. This issue is important, even though we do not see or hear of it’s effect within our own daily lives.

Oxfam has done so much to help, now it is time for us to step up. Check out the GROW campaign at Oxfam and understand the issues such as land grabs that have contributed to creating our broken food system.


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